Using your hobbys, alter egos or side-projects as source of specialization
Thread poster: Luis Mondragón

Luis Mondragón  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:08
German to Spanish
+ ...
Feb 9, 2011

For a long time I have had this wrong notion about keeping my activities separated. I work as a translator, proof reader and research assistant. I mention all my publishing and translation related work in my CV's and profiles, but there is one important aspect of my life that I never mention, because I've thought of it as being "not serious".

I translate during the day. But after 9:00 p.m. I'm DJ'ing or making electronic music. I have always thought that it is kind of strange to have two such different, "unrelated" activities.

But today I was watching this very interesting video of the NYU continuing education department about "The Business of Translation"

http://www.scps.nyu.edu/areas-of-study/foreign-languages/continuing-education/multimedia.html

and the (very smart) presenter was talking about specialties. I know how important and crucial are specialties for the development of a translation career, so I was thinking, "what else should I list in my areas of expertise? Ahm... don't know..." And then suddenly I understood that I have failed to integrate my knowledge of music technology into my possible work fields!

I translate from German. Coincidentally, state of the art software and hardware for DJ's and electronic music producers comes from Germany. There are many important German manufacturers of music technology products, which I happen to know very, very well, because I've worked with such tools on a daily basis for 5, 6 years. I also read a lot in German about music technology.

I think I overlooked my knowledge about music production and technology because I don't hold a B.A. in DJ'ing or a M.A. in Hip-Hop or Techno Production. But I have plenty of hands-on experience. And such degrees are very rare, and in Mexico, almost non-existant. So, I conclude that I have to analize my de facto knowledge, which emerges from hands-on experience, in order to discover what specialized vocabulary I can work with.

What do you think? Do you have a similar experience? I would encourage everybody to use all the knowledge of different areas they have to market themselves in specific fields.


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:08
Member (2005)
English to Japanese
+ ...
Definitely a "must" Feb 9, 2011

In my opinion, many people here at Proz (and I believe at other translation sites) declare their specialities which relate to their work, but also to their hobbies. For example, if your hobbies are DJing and making electronic music, I suppose the latter falls into the category of "Music" and "Electronical Engineering". Say, if you also had a hobby of playing sports, be it tennis, baseball, basketball, etc., you could declare them as your working or speciality in Sports, Fitness, Recreation.

And I firmly believe that you would have an advantage over these hobbies than other people who only know the logic or the basics (just reading books, newspapers, magazine articles on these topics) but you yourself have both the knowledge and the experience of composing a music than people who have just studied music theory.

My personal hobby is motorcycling, but unfortunately, there is no independent category but I include it in the Automotives, Cars, Trucks which have similar structures except that bikes have only two wheels instead of four.


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Igor Radosavljevic  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 12:08
Member (2010)
English to Serbian
+ ...
Almost the same with music Feb 9, 2011

but somehow paradoxically if one lists more areas of specialty it gives the false impression that specializes in none, which is not true. What I want to say is, when an outsourcer looks at my profile and notices that I have many other things besides music, while on the other side he/she picks someone who is all into music, than I am out.

At least that was my experience.

Cheers!


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Luis Mondragón  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:08
German to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Also a translator / musician? Feb 9, 2011

Igor Radosavljevic wrote:

but somehow paradoxically if one lists more areas of specialty it gives the false impression that specializes in none, which is not true. What I want to say is, when an outsourcer looks at my profile and notices that I have many other things besides music, while on the other side he/she picks someone who is all into music, than I am out.

At least that was my experience.

Cheers!


Nice to meet you Igor. Tell me, are you also a translator-musician?

Cheers


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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 12:08
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Perks Feb 9, 2011

Well, it is one of the few professions which let you spend half a day playing video games and say "But honey, I'm doing research!"

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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:08
Swedish to English
+ ...
At last a way of getting my son to take an interest in my work Feb 9, 2011

Jabberwock wrote:

Well, it is one of the few professions which let you spend half a day playing video games and say "But honey, I'm doing research!"


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Luis Mondragón  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:08
German to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
All your experience counts Feb 9, 2011

Yasutomo Kanazawa wrote:

My personal hobby is motorcycling, but unfortunately, there is no independent category but I include it in the Automotives, Cars, Trucks which have similar structures except that bikes have only two wheels instead of four.


I'm sure there is a ton of documentation about motorcycles out there, waiting to be translated! Good luck

Thanks for responding, I'm glad other translators understand this.

In conclusion, it boils down to this: your specialization fields are those areas of the language that you know very well, whether it be through formal education or practical work.

My family has a long tradition (since our grand-dad) of working as telephone technicians. I chose a different path, but I grew up surrounded by wires, telephones, tools, telephony accesories, etc. When I had the task to translate a manual of Voip telephony, of course I did research, but it was way easier than translating any other field. So, I think it is legitimate to claim expertise in Telecommunications.


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Bilanda Ban  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 12:08
English to Croatian
+ ...
what a pleasant surprise Feb 9, 2011

The first thing that ran across my mind as I was about to check out this topic was, "well, there's no way in hell someone is going to mention DJing", and now this.
I'm just an amateur DJ myself, but this is definitely something I'm very passionate about, and the mere thought of actually translating something in this field fills me with excitement. However, given my language pair and my country's market demand, I doubt this would work. Also, here, it's a natural fact that DJs and music producers have an advanced knowledge of English and/or German language, so I'm guessing a translator would be nothing but a nuisance... On the other hand, I might be completely wrong, and I should probably start asking my fellow music lovers some serious questions...


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Luis Mondragón  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:08
German to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Why music software is not localized into Spanish? Feb 9, 2011

BBan wrote:

Also, here, it's a natural fact that DJs and music producers have an advanced knowledge of English and/or German language, so I'm guessing a translator would be nothing but a nuisance... On the other hand, I might be completely wrong, and I should probably start asking my fellow music lovers some serious questions...


That's actually a thought-provoking point. I think there is not a single dj or production software I've used that is localized into Spanish. Not one. Yes you have German, Japanese and French, most of the times.

Why?

Is the hispanic market not interesting for music software companies?

Do most spanish-speaking musicians read English well-enough that a translation is unnecesary?

I'd like to think that also French, German and Japanese musicians read English well, so why is the software localized for them?

Are software companies not very interested in localizing for a market where piracy is rampant?


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:08
French to German
+ ...
Greetings from a translator-musician Feb 10, 2011

Hi all,
I also happen to be a translator-musician, albeit for a very different era (roughly and mainly Renaissance and Baroque, especially keyboard works). This even led me to create a specific tab in my ProZ.com profile.

So far I was not impressed at all by the quality of the documentation I have seen - e. g. from English into German or French. I therefore think that there still is a big market for professional translations in the field of electronic music for all languages.

[Edited at 2011-02-10 06:47 GMT]


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Nikita Kobrin  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 13:08
Member (2010)
English to Russian
+ ...
I'm also into music Feb 10, 2011

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:

This even led me to create a specific tab in my ProZ.com profile.


I'm also into music and I have a specific tab in my ProZ.com profile too. Though I had to combine it with a gallery...

Nikita Kobrin


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